Continuing my birthday celebrations, CT & I met up with our close friends, JS & MS for dinner and drinks in the East Village. JS and I decided we should check out Edi & The Wolf, an Austrian pub/wine bar from the team behind Seasonal. The restaurant is located on a stretch of Avenue C that has had quite the renaissance over the past couple of years. Zum Schneider is across the street. Since they don’t have a sign, just look for the place that looks like a hunting lodge on the east side of the street and you’ll be there.
They have a nice handful of Austrian and German beers on tap that weren’t priced too outrageously. $9 for a huge glass, maybe a liter? They also have a large selection of wines, which did have some eyebrow-raising prices. Don’t expect dining on a budget even though you are in Alphabet City.
They only take reservations for parties of 6 or more, but they will take your name. Fortunately, they weren’t too busy at 8 on a Friday, so we were able to be seated in the nice back garden quickly. By the time we left, the place was packed. The front part of the restaurant was mostly communal tables, so you have been warned.
Our friendly server started us with some bread and olive oil. The dark bread was quite delicious and hearty. I’m not sure if they made it in-house, but it tasted like they did.
Since the restaurant is all about being casual with good food and drink, most of the menu is meant for sharing. We heeded that advice and shared a couple of appetizers.
Cheese Plate (choice of 3 for $13). They had six on the menu, but we took the easy way out and just had the waiter pick for us. It was nice touch that they wrote the names on the slate, but didn’t really make a difference to us. We just gobbled up all of the cheese anyway. They went perfectly with some of the dark bread from the basket.
Spätzle ($17) Wild Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts, Fava Beans. This was a huge portion for the four of us, so it was well worth the price. The pasta was perfectly cooked and coated in a delicious creamy sauce. Fortunately the sauce masked the flavor of the mushrooms, hehe. We were all quite happy with this and would be hard pressed not to start with it on a return visit.
Baby Back Ribs ($15) Honey, Beer, Mustard, Pickles. CT is hard pressed not to order ribs everytime she sees it on the menu, but this time she shared with us. It was also a nice portion of meaty ribs for each of us to share. The mustard added a nice spicy kick although the ribs were pretty flavorful enough on their own.
MS had the Black Sea Bass ($24) with Spicy Carrot Purée, Dandelion Greens, Fava Beans, Brussel Sprouts as her main. She was very happy with it and gave us each a taste. It was cooked perfectly. Crispy skin, yet light and juicy flesh.
I ordered the classic Wiener Schnitzel ($21) with Potato Salad, Cucumber, Lingonberry Jam. While ordering the waiter asked if I wanted heritage pork or veal, I stuck to what was listed on the menu and had the pork. It was quite a huge piece of schnitzel. The meat was pounded to a clean, uniform thickness that allowed for perfect frying. The batter adhered well to the meat, which is not always the case. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the salads and jam underneath, I was too concerned with gobbling it all up, but they were quite healthy portions and each delicious. The lightly dressed cucumber salad did a perfect job of cutting the richness of the fried meat and creamy potatoes. The sweet tartness from the Lingonberry jam brought the whole dish together and cut down on some of the salt. Quite an excellent dish!
CT and JS both jumped on the Veal Schnitzel when our waiter mentioned it. I’m not sure how much it was, but it couldn’t have been more than a couple dollar more than the pork. They both were quite happy with their choice, but seemed to regret finishing the large portions. It was too good to throw out and wouldn’t have reheated well.
All in all, Edi & The Wolf was very good. The service was friendly and professional, while the food was hearty and delicious. While it was by no means, cheap, prices weren’t too ridiculous. I’m sure the neighborhood locals might have some other opinions to share i.e. gentrification debate? However, I would definitely see myself returning to this casual Austrian watering hole for some good beer and tasty schnitzel.